Pass the popcorn please!!!!

Hello Joyflakes!

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend filled with relaxing, good food, and a snuggly old/new blanket (like the one currently on my bed that is new to me but old to my roommate).  This past weekend was full of all of those things for me.  I was sick at the end of last week and spent most of my weekend curled up with blankets and netflix.  It was a wonderful way to spend the weekend.  Just recently (as in 20 minutes ago), I came across THIS on my Facebook wall and in combination with the weather report for this week was inspired to put together a list of must watch netflix instant titles.

1. Lost Girl
            A series about a badass succubus finding her place between light and dark.  Slightly scifi and creepy but positively addicting.

2. Gilmore Girls
           Nothing like some witty banter and references to movies you've never seen!

3. The L Word
           For those of you who are straight, this will be enlightening, funny, and make you jones for a perfect lesbian posse.  For those of you who are not, this will be enlightening, funny, and make you jones for a perfect lesbian posse.

4. Hunger Games
           J-Law is my queen.

5. Heart of Dixie
          Everyone needs a Wade in their life.

6. Gossip Girl
          Scandal, sex, money, and plaid skirts....need I say more?

7. Mona Lisa Smile
          Julia Roberts lays some serious knowledge on every character in this movie.  "It's art!"

8. Love Actually
          TG this is on netflix because my sister literally wore her dvd out.  I didn't even know that was possible!

9. You've Got Mail
           A classic.  You simply cannot go wrong with a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks matchup.  Also, filmed when Meg Ryan had her old face so it's a must.

10. Greek
            Wether you were in greek life or not, this show will make you laugh, cry, and want to go back to college.

11. Silver Linings Playbook
            J-Law....duh!

12. Friday Night Lights
            The tv show, not the movie.  I'll give you two reasons, one is Tim Riggins and the second is Lyla Garrity. "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose!"

13. Chopped
            It will make you truly believe you can make something amazing out of the odds and ends in your fridge...which also means that you won't have to brave the tundra to visit the grocery store.

14. Any Disney Anything
             Sure to make you laugh, cry, and believe in true love.

15. Everafter
            The best thing that Drew Barrymore has done other than Whip It.

16. Shooter
            Marky-Mark teaching you how to be a recluse, badass, and outrun the cops all in one film.

17. Forest Gump
            There are no words to describe my love of this movie.

18. Dirty Dancing
            You'll  have the time of your life and be singing "hungry eyes" forever more.

19. The Birdcage
            One of Robin Williams finest movies and something that should be included in any instant watch list forever more in my opinion.

20. Rent
           Oh my god the feels!


There you have it.  Enough instant watch goodness to keep you satisfied for at least a month.  Simply add popcorn, I like mine with Buffalo Wild Wings Buffalo Dry Rub,  a cozy blanket, and someone (if that someone is your dog, I'm jealous of you) to cuddle and you're set!

Until next time,

XOXO
~Kae

P.S. What are your favorite netflix instant watch movies to cozy up to?!

Saturday Sounds 11.8.14

Happy Saturday Joyflakes!!!

I was a litte preoccupied last Saturday due to the whole having friends in town thing and completely missed posting something to make your ears happy but have no fear! Saturday sounds will still be around for a good long while.  To kick off the start of the cold and dark months here in Iowa, I've chosen something to accompany cozy blankets, fuzzy socks, and a nice hot cup of tea.  Enjoy lovies!



XOXO
~Kae

Old Friends And Football


Hello Joyflakes!

This past weekend one of my very best friends from high school came to visit with her fiancee.  AJ and I met on a houseboat trip on the Mississippi river just before my sophomore year of high school.  Over the next few years we spent as many weekends as possible (she was from another town) at each others houses doing everything from watching movies to trying to catch potatoes shot out of a cannon with the ranger (please do not try this unless you are, like us, professionals).  I have some of my very best memories with her and am incredibly lucky to have had her in my life all these years.  

The last time that I had seen AJ and Carley was while I was still living in Ames about a year ago.  They came to visit and tailgate for the day but we didn't get to spend nearly enough time together in my opinion. They arrived Friday night in time for the Halloween party and it was great to get to catch up and spend some time just chatting! 

On Saturday we got up early and made breakfast (waffle iron cinnamon rolls, eggs, and bacon), and then headed out for a little tailgating before the Hawks played Northwestern.  Carley and Misha had never been into historic Kinnick Stadium before so it was great that we were able to borrow my grandparents tickets and had AMAZING seats (thanks guys!). The weather was absolutely perfect and the game was a blast. We participated in one of the amazing card stunts I'm never there for, ate peanuts, and pretty much lost our voices cheering the Hawks to an outstanding victory over Northwestern. It was such a great game for us to be at!
Yay tailgating!

WE ARE FARM STRONG
'MERICA
Possibly one of my favorite things EVER.

After the game, we hit up the ped mall for some of Georges Best Gyros and a shopping excursion to Ragstock before Carley and AJ went to see family before heading home.  All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  Here's hoping it's not another full year before we get to see them again!


Until next time,

XOXO
~Kae


A little clarity...

Hello Joyflakes!

Apparently my last post caused a little confusion so I am going to try and clarify it for all of you.

Last night I went to dinner with my sister.  We are still trying to learn how to be friends with each other (not that we haven't always been friends, please don't get upset about that line, I just think we're still figuring it out), so going out to eat is one of our favorite activities (it gives me something to do with my hands).  We went out for pizza at Pagliai's, one of the places we have been going since we were very small children and oddly enough, were seated in the same booth as always.  We both work a lot and it was good to have some time to chat and catch up just the two of us.  While eating a delicious veggie special pizza with pepperonis, my sister brought up my blog and kindly let me know that she and my mom were surprised to find out that I never want to get married.  This was a complete shock to me because in my mind, I had just written about the fact that while I am very happy for my friends that are getting married, I am also very happy that I am not getting married YET.  I guess the yet part of the post didn't translate well.

I used to have a timeline that I thought I needed to benchmark my life by (engaged by 24, married by 25, kids, if I had them, by 27) but over the past few years that timeline has felt more like a death sentence than a goal.  Being the last of my friends to get engaged just solidified the fact that I don't feel the need to benchmark my life by what everyone else is doing. So for all of my family and friends that read this and are now throughly confused, yes, I do eventually want to get married. I am just so incredibly happy with where my life is right now, I don't see any need to change it.

Until tomorrow,

XOXO
~Kae

"it's happening. right now, trying to call family"

It happend.  I've known that this day was coming for a while and to be very honest, I've been doing my best to block it out of my thoughts completely.  We're not talking put it away in a cardboard box in my mind, we're talking about building a great wall of china around it. Keeping out even the tiniest of thoughts, which is incredibly difficult given my line of work and I'm sure that I regularly fail at it.

So what happened when the bomb finally dropped?  First, I'm going to be very honest, I freaked out a little bit. I did a little happy dance, immediately started planning, and sent a text that I am completely sure did not convey the proper amount of emotions happening inside of my person. Second, I took note of the fact that the bomb had finally dropped and I was the only one left standing.  I had been anticipating loneliness, dread, and mild anxiety, but what I instead felt, was something akin to (dare I say it?) relief?  

Working in jewelry I am surrounded daily by talk about wedding rings and engagements.  As a 24 year old, I'm bombarded with engagement announcements on all forms of social media.  Being a girl, I was taught from a very young age that my engagement and wedding would be the most amazing moments of my life outside of the day that I inevitably pop out a child. The problem with this is, that all of that makes the amazing date you went on or the surprise Savion Glover tickets (yes I am STILL fangerling over here) that you received, somehow less important.  Why is it that we have to hit the next "mile stone" in order to feel like our lives are on the right track? Why can't we just savor those happy moments and teach little girls that the best day of their life will be the day they meet their best friend?

With that wonderful and exciting text still fresh in my inbox, I officially became the last of the small circle of friends that I speak to on a daily or weekly basis without a ring on that very special finger.  I thought I would be more, I don't know, depressed about it? but in actuality, it solidified what I have been thinking for a while now.  I am also the only person I know that doesn't have to worry about seating plans, menus, cake flavors, save the dates, invitations, registries, hurting peoples feelings, dealing with in-laws (not that I don't love my significant others family, but that takes things up a significant notch), and the pressure to have one singular "perfect" day that you (hopefully) only get once.  I get to enjoy every day and keep dreaming about that "perfect" someday.

So to all of my wonderful and amazing happily engaged besties, CONGRATULATIONS!  I am so happy for all of you and absolutely cannot wait to drink, dance, and celebrate with you on your special day! And thank you for making all of the decisions for me so I can do the drinking, dancing, and celebrating with you and just enjoy it!

Until next time
XOXO
~Kae



All Hallows Eve 2014

Hi there Joyflakes!

For those of you who are completely unaware of what is happening in the world around you or what day it is, this past Friday was Halloween.  Most years, I choose my costume the night of and only after I have been forced into agreeing to go out.  Last year, I have zero recollection of doing anything for Halloween so lets pretend I stood my ground for once.  I'm pretty sure I spent halloween on my couch with a bowl of popcorn.  Although neither of us enjoy this particular holiday, this year Halloween was a slightly more thought out occasion.  My girlfriends friends from law school were throwing a party (costumes mandatory) and therefore we were obligated to attend.  Our first few costume ideas were pretty adorable and funny.  "Jack and Jill after the hill" was vetoed after learning that another couple was planning on it.  "Max and a Monster" was out because my figuring out a white onesie was apparently more than I could handle. "Salt and Pepper" or "Salt 'n' Peppa" was too overdone.  The list of options went on and on and on thanks to Pinterest but nothing really felt right for us.  I was incredibly close to suggesting we go as two people at home handing out candy (sweats and a bowl of candy) when I stumbled across the perfect option.

Paula Deen is one of my favorite cooks.  I know that there are many people who will say that she is a horrid human being (trust me I've heard it all) but I hold to the fact that she is wonderful if only because she is funny and southern and not afraid to get messy in the kitchen while making something delicious.  That is why when I stumbled across a non-traditional couples costume featuring one of my idols I knew that we had finally found our perfect costume.  I went as Paula (big hair, spatula and all!) and my girlfriend went as my favorite ingredient, butter.


For two people to aren't fans of dressing up for Halloween, I think we killed it.

Until next time!
XOXO
~Kae

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Hello Joyflakes!

I cannot believe that it has been so incredibly long since my last post.  Part of this was because I suddenly got very busy, and the other part is that after a while, I didn't quite know how to come back to the blog.  I thought about some big dramatic post or maybe a super short "hi there" post or maybe just putting up a random recipe or photograph but none of those really felt right to me.  Over the past few months I have made quite a few large and small changes in my life.  I've moved, cut my hair, come out, and lost 5 pounds, started to really make decisions based on me and my happiness, committed to work, started a business, stopped wearing makeup unless its a big occasion, and learned how to cook rice properly.  For some of you who know me, these may have been huge surprises, others of you (like my mother) have been waiting for theses "changes" for the last 15 years.  The point is, I finally found the courage to say to the world "I don't give a rats pattooti what you think, I'm going to be comfortable" and I couldn't be happier.

Since it has been so long, I'm going to let a few pictures stand for a few thousand words and catch you all up on my life visually.


Hiking around the res became one of my favorite activities...if only I did it more often!


My little FINALLY turned 21!!!!

The first of my close sorority sisters got married

Almost ALL of my close friends graduated and started real life

I made a point of reuniting with friends I haven't seen since my hair grew past my ears



Took an amazing trip to our family cabin in Wisconsin for a week of nothing but flannel and sunshine and canoeing

Ate steak like a pioneer

Found my new favorite beer

stayed home while my best friend flew halfway around the world to see her family

Drove through traffic at O'Hare Airport in order to pick up said best friend and her parents

Was rewarded for my traumatic driving experience with a perfectly ripe melon

Participated in our first ever Family Fantasy Football draft (The family that plays together stays together!) and basically #CRUSHEDIT

Went to the local pumpkin patch (how autumnal)

See? I really did chop off 4 inches!

Saw Savion Glover preform...

was only slightly excited about it...

PSYCH! I FREAKING DIED AND LOVED IT!

Went to a super fancy auction and spent money I wasn't planning on....but who cares we WON!


TADA! There you have it.  The last however many LONG months in photo form.  There were many many more events and a lot of laughs but I somehow never got my grandfathers amazing ability to always have a camera ready so I missed out on sharing them with you all.  

Until next time loves...


XOXO
Kae







Saturday Sounds

Judge away joyflakes!

I'm literally obsessed with this song and currently listening to it while I get ready to head out for a night on the town with my favorite.  #letmetakeaselfie


It's AH-mazing. Just admit it.

XOXO,
Kae


In case you missed the last installment of Saturday Sounds, here it is!!!

Saturday Sounds

Cheers to the freakin' weekend Joyflakes!

I recently posted this to my Facebook and am completely in love with this version.






Angel Haze -- Same Love Freestyle -- Originally by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Hi mom,
I'm really scared right now, but I have to...
At age thirteen, my mom knew I wasn't straight
She didn't understand, but she had so much to say
She sat me on the couch, looked me straight in my face
And said you'll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS
It's funny now, but at thirteen it was pain
To be almost sure of who you are and have it ripped away
And I'm sorry if it's too real for some of you to fathom
But hate for who you love is not exactly what you'd imagine
And I guess it was disastrous
Because everything that happened afterwards was just madness
Locked away for two years to keep me on the inside
Because she'd rather see a part of me die than me thrive
And it's tougher when it's something you can't deny
And ignorance teaches us it's something you decide
You're driven by your choices, an optical illusion
Here's to understanding it's not always confusion

And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

I've walked the halls of my school
And I've seen kids hide behind walls and footballs and things like pride
I've seen innocent children suffer beneath bruises
Suffer beneath every single hand that chooses ignorance
Fuck your religion
Fuck constitutions
Fuck superstitions
There are no lakes of fire; they're here on earth
And the only thing to do is put love first
And so I stand for the boy who died by his hand
To the sound of his father screaming "Woman loves man"
"This is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"
And I stand for the girl with the cuts up her sleeve
And the heart in her hand and a chip on her shoulder
And I stand for it all until ignorance is over
This is for you, for knowing who you are
For never letting your magic outside of your heart
Be you, be brave, and understand that things do change
I accept you for you when I don't understand
And I love you for you because this is who I am
I accepted you for you when I didn't understand
Now love me for me 'cause this is who I am

And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

Here's a message to the people who just don't get it:
Love is love
There is no difference
Not a medication to fix it
There is no prescription
No rehab to visit
It is not an addiction
It's love and it's selfless
It's yours and everybody else's
So don't badger and abuse the solemnly defenseless
See us as yourself
There's no equality in difference
Until we all get it, we'll be drowning in the same blood
Despite orientation, we all feel the same love
We'll be drowning in the same blood
Despite orientation, we all feel the same love

And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried, even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We are boxed in and labelled
Before we're ever able to speak who we believe we are
Or who we dream we'll become
Like drum beats forever changing their rhythm
I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday
And tonight I'll only borrow pieces of who I am today
To carry with me to tomorrow
No, I'm not gay
No, I'm not straight
And I sure as hell am not bisexual
Damn it I am whoever I am when I am it
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And whoever you'll be when the sun rises
So here's to being able
Here's to love
Here's to loving just because
Here's to acceptance
Here's to never fearing the fear of rejection
Here's to love and never neglecting who you feel you are
Here's to bullies because beatings cannot last forever
Here's to the moment you realize things do get better
Here's to the parents who will get it when its too late
Here's to second chances
Here's to new fate
Here's to every single moment you've ever had to hide you
Here's to the single star shining bright inside you, asking you to guide you
Here's to who you'll be when you figure it all out
Here's to momentary doubt
Here's to feeling, because we all feel it the same
Here's to the moment that things will change
Because we all feel love, we all feel it the same
Here's to love, here's to change.



Love is love y'all.

XOXO,

Kae

And if you missed last week's Saturday Sounds, you can find it here!

Love Letter Home

Happy #ThrowbackThursday Joyflakes!

There's nothing like midwestern sweetcorn in the summer :)

My freshman year of college I had to do a writing assignment about where I grew up.  We were supposed to focus on how our environment shaped us an our feelings while we grew up.  Did we feel safe? Cultured? Happy? Anxious?  For me that meant trying to paint my memory so vividly and with so much detail that whoever read it would feel like they were really there, right down to the smells.  What was supposed to be a paragraph writing assignment ended up actually being 3 pages long and is to this day one of my favorite things I've ever written.

On my lunch break the other day, walking through the ped-mall to my favorite salad bar I started thinking about what I had written and what I would write if I were given that assignment today.  A lot of the physical traits of my city would stay exactly how they were, but a lot of the feelings would change.  Here's what I came up with.

"I live in a city of dreamers."  We dream big.  We hope for a future of realized freedoms stemming from a life of ideals and morals instilled by generations of hard working, soft-spoken, "Iowa nice", midwesterners.  Tucked into this plush green farmland patchwork quilt we are nurtured and primed to someday venture out into the hardened world and bring those hopes and dreams to fruition.  We are brought, at once both sleepily and fully energized, into the "real world" prepared to shower the goodness of where we are from upon the rest of the world.

Hello from the heartland! <3 Mr. Grasshopper
This time it would have fit the requirements of the assignment but simply because there haven't been beautiful enough words to fully describe where I'm from.  It's the heartland and backbone of America and I'm truly blessed to have grown up here.

XOXO,

Kae

Saturday Sounds

Happy Saturday Joyflakes!

Along with today's Saturday Sounds comes a promise that I'll get back on schedule with my blog posts.  I've been a little writers blocked lately but I have a feeling that's going to change very very soon.

Today's choice for Saturday Sounds was a no brainer for me.  I've let you all into the wonderful world of Sam Tsui already and he has yet again, blown my musical mind.  These two songs, which are both fabulous on their own, have only been made more amazing by being mashed together and such a seamless way that it feels like they were actually made for each other.

Let it go/Let her go Mashup 

I'm literally blown away by the talent in this person.  Amazing.

Have a fantastic Saturday y'all

XOXO~
Kae


Saturday Sounds

I've failed for the past two weeks at Saturday Sounds so here are a few of the things I've been listening to constantly




I'm not only obsessed but in love with these gents.

Because she's amaze

XOXOX~
Kae


Pinterest

Happy Wednesday Joyflakes!

It was my day off today and due the fact that it's snowing and cold outside again, I'm spent my day inside by the fire and drinking lots of tea.  On Wednesday's I would usually stay in bed for as long as possible and then proceed to gorge myself on Netflix but today, I woke up to my alarm and was immediately ready to get up (why does that never happen on my working days?).  The problem with today being the day that I get the urge to be productive is that I tidied up last night, did all my laundry on Sunday, and have nothing to do.

Of course having nothing to do means that I will spend my entire day online watching Youtube videos, pinning everything in sight, and stalking people I haven't seen in a while on Facebook. Due to the fact that I'm spending my entire day on social media websites, I thought to myself, "Self! Today is the perfect day to write a blog post about Pinterest! Quit procrastinating and do it!" so here it is.

The 10 ways I use Pinterest daily



1. Recipe Ideas

Y'all may be unaware but I LOVE food.  I am always up for trying new things and really enjoy cooking new recipes.  The only problem with this love is that I really dislike going grocery shopping. While this does help me to try a lot of new restaurants, it also means that I frequently look in my fridge and try to concoct something out of almost nothing. Sometimes when I'm trying to figure something out the only thing that sparks my imagination is looking at my food board on Pinterest. That's how I managed to make up the best homemade buffalo mac and cheese recipe ever out of the 4 things I had left in my fridge.

2. Outfit Inspiration

It's pretty easy to feel like I have "nothing to wear" even when all of my laundry is done simply because I've warn everything multiple times and reimagining specific outfits can be a daunting task.  Luckily, my style board is full of looks that I love.  Some of them are combinations that I never would have thought of or am trying to get the courage up to try and there have been many days that I've fallen in love with and old shirt simply because I paired it with something I've never tried before.

3. Home Decor

While my "Dream Home" board is incredible, extravagant, and will probably only ever going to be a dream, the aesthetics of the images I've pinned are a great guide for my internal interior designer.  Since I recently moved into a new place, I've been spending a TON of time pouring over pin boards of home decor.



4. Planning Dream Vacations

I have an extensive list of places that I want to see before I die and Pinterest is the best possible way for me to get there before I can afford it and without leaving my home.




5. Makeup and Hair Tutorials

 Those of you who have known me for my whole life know that I only recently (pretty much when I went to college) started wearing makeup on an incredibly regular basis. Due to that fact, I've used Pinterest to learn new things and to find out what products I should try out.

6. NAILS

I like to change up my nail color frequently.  While I was in school I would change it roughly every 3 days.  Needless to say, I like to do more than just a single color and I get a LOT of ideas from pinterest.

7. Tattoos

As you all know from my previous post, I love tattoos.  I think they're beautiful and interesting and love that they're always with you.  Pinterest is a place where tattoos can be celebrated.  It's where I get to look at the amazing artwork and have even found inspiration for my own tattoos there.

8. Crafting

One of my favorite things to do is watch movies and craft and I'm always looking for new ideas of things to make. My current project is an American flag wreath in honor of the olympics that I found on while in the middle of a lunch break pinterest session.



9. Fitness

There are zillions of fitness pins and it is incredibly easy to find new workouts and motivational techniques.  My personal favorites are the yoga and pilates tutorials.

10. Procrastination/Time Killing

Pinterest is to blame for many of my late nights and lost hours.  It is so easy to get sucked in and go on a pinning rampage that it can be dangerous in some ways.  The nice thing though, is that it is also very easy to kill the extra 15 minutes of your lunch hour or the hour between classes when you don't have anything to do.



I started writing this entry at about 10:00 this morning and now at almost 10:00 at night (I took breaks to eat and meet up with some friends), I'm finally finished.  There are many more pins on my boards thanks to today's topic so follow my pinterest, check out my boards, and let me know what some of your favorite things about pinterest are!

XOXO ~
Kae

Familia es todo

Mondays are hard.  They force you back to reality and out of the comfy nest of relaxation that each weekend brings.  Working in retail, I only have a one day weekend so when I have too much to do and have to use that day to catch up at work, the thought of getting up and dealing with another Monday is even less exciting.  This past Monday was one of those days.  I managed to force myself out of bed, get ready, and brave the frozen tundra that Iowa has become this winter to make it to work on time and mentally prepared for lots of calls to vendors that aren't open on weekends.

Thanks to the fact that I was able to work on Sunday, I managed to get through most of my to-do list fairly quickly so when a couple walked into the store and headed straight for me I was surprised and praying that I hadn't forgotten an appointment.  It turned out that I hadn't and instead, I was standing face to face with my second cousin Leslie and her husband Roger!  Having never met them, I was absolutely flabbergasted and elated that they had stopped by to say "hi" and get to know me a little bit.

Leslie, Roger and I talked for well over an hour and hearing stories from when my mom was little or my grandparents were first married was such a treat.  There was never a lull in the conversation and I felt like I had known them my whole life.  When they headed back to Omaha with a promise to call if they were ever in town, I couldn't help but think about all of the family members I have but haven't met.  My father lost touch with his family, especially those who stayed in Puerto Rico, and although I've always spent a TON of time with my close family, I've never met a lot of the family my mom and uncles grew up with.

Mehe world.  We group text each other (literally all of us) at least once a week (more if the Hawkeyes are playing) and always make the extra effort to see each other and stay updated on everything going on in each others lives.  Meeting Leslie and Roger only reiterates that and the fact that family is everything.  They're there for you no matter what and even if they haven't met you yet, you have a connection unlike any other.   Never forget that.  Familia es TODO.

XOXO ~
Kae

I'm turning 24.


Hello Joyflakes!

Make a wish!


I'm turning 24 in a few short days and while most people make resolutions or goals and look back on their lives when the new year comes, I tend to do that around my birthday.  The last year has been a complete roller coaster.  I made some massive changes in my personal life, moved, and started working full time so it's safe to say that my life took a 180.  That fact has lead me to be especially nostalgic but has also let me become more of the person that I want to be.  Y'all know from my post Dream Big that I have a LOT of things that I want to do before I die but in the short term, I have some things I want to accomplish too.  Here's my list of everything I want to do in the next year.

1. Put myself out there

Starting this blog has been a wonderful outlet for me and I've loved every minute of it but I want to keep challenging myself to try new things, meet new people, and do more things that make me uncomfortable.

2. Save $100 a month

If I can manage to save just $100 dollars a month, I'll be able to take a truly badass vaca to ring in my 25th year of life.  Living for a quarter century is something that should be celebrated in a BIG way.

3. Work out at least 4 times a week

This is kind of a cliche but when I was growing up I danced ALL the time.  When I stopped dancing and went to school, I never found something I liked as much and working out went on the back burner.  This year, I'm trying something new.  Pure Barre is a dance inspired workout that combines the precise small movements of barre work with yoga-esque stretching and I am already falling in love with it!

4. Keep in touch

One of the things that changed most for me last year was my social life and my friends.  I have some AMAZING friends from my time in Ames and I don't want to lose touch with any of them.  Face time calls, texts, snapchats, phone calls make it really easy to keep in touch and I plan on taking full advantage of them.

5. My Blog

It's safe to say that I love everything about blogging.  The creative outlet has been just what I needed and this blog has become a big part of my life.  I'm not sure where this blog will take me over the next 12 months, but I'm extremely excited to find out!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me in all of my big changes these past few months!  Y'all mean the world to me and I can't wait to share the next 12 months experiences with you!

XOXO ~ 
Kae

Saturday Sounds

Since tonight is the official opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia I feel that it is only appropriate to showcase Team USA's official song for 2014.  Along with Gavin Degraw Team USA made this fabulous video!


Legit, these athletes give me chills...is that weird?



GO TEAM USA!

XOXO ~
Kae

GO TEAM USA!

Happy Thursday Joyflakes!!!!

I am unbelievably excited for today because I am currently watching the very first broadcast of the 2014 winter Olympics!  It's not a secret that I am slightly obsessed with America and the Olympics are one of the few times that my love for America can overflow without being too annoying.  To start the 2014 Olympics off right, I'm letting you all in on my favorite things to watch during the winter olympics :)

1. Snowboarding

I LOVE to watch absolutely anything to do with snowboarding.  Maybe it's because I've never done it or maybe because I'm in complete awe of all people who can jump off of things, flip around, and land on their feet but I will be glued to my TV for as many snowboarding events as possible.  I'm also stoked to watch slope style.

2. Curling

Possibly one of the strangest sports ever, curling is one of the most intense of winter sports.  From the first time I watched a nerd sweep the ice in front of a large rock with a handle I was hooked.  Curling reminds me of all of the "sports" we used to make up when we were kids and stuck inside on snow days.

3. Ski Jumping

More of that whole jumping from extreme heights and landing on your feet thing.  Plus this year they've added women's ski jumping!

4. Bobsledding

Jamaica.  Need I say more?

5. Figure Skating

My grandmother absolutely loves figure skating.  She has been a fan since forever and any time that it is on television she watches.  This meant that I grew up idolizing figure skaters like Michelle, Tara, and Kristi.  Although I never did anything more than learn how to skate backwards, I have always loved watching skating and talking about it with my grandmother.  Needless to say, I'll be calling to talk about this whole "team figure skating" thing.  Plus there's a real thing called a "sow cow" what's better than that??

6. Skiing

There's nothing like a good comeback story to warm my heart on a cold winter night.

There are TONS more events that I'll be tuning in for but these 6 are the one's I've already got scheduled on my DVR.  Follow my twitter @KNdoubleU for some amazing commentary on all of these events!

GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!

XOXO ~
Kae

Saturday Sounds

Happy Saturday Joyflakes!

It's time for another installment of Saturday Sounds and I had planned on letting you all in on my musical history with a fabulous Rooney song...Instead, I watched Safety Not Guaranteed and absolutely fell in love with this song.  I've posted both the movie version and the soundtrack version because there's a certain magic to Mark Duplass playing the zither and singing that gets lost in the full version.

Seriously, I'm now obsessed and will be playing it on repeat forever.

Magic right?!

The full song is currently playing on my laptop...on repeat...can't stop won't stop.



XOXO,
Kae

In case you missed last week here it is Saturday Sounds!

Iowa Nice

This weekend I had a couple of very good friends in town.  One of whom, also blogs and this weekend we shared a truly bloggable moment.

Every time that Austin and I are in our home town at the same time we have a couple of traditions.  First, we have lunch at our favorite noodle place Z'mariks Noodle Cafe, and then have dessert at Whitey's Ice Cream (this is literally the best ice cream place ever). No matter how cold it is we do both of these things.  This has been a tradition since we were in high school and I am proud to say that we have carried it on through military deployments, college, and living in completely different parts of the country.

After turning 18, we added another part to this tradition and that is going to The Red Poppy and smoking hookah.  Sometimes we end up going with a huge group of friends and other times (like this time) it's just a couple of us.  This time, since it's the middle of the arctic vortex here in the midwest we decided to simply go and have a super chill night of catching up and trying new flavor combinations.  Austin, my friend Misha and I were all having a wonderful time chatting about god knows what when these two people walked into the back room where we were sitting and asked if anyone had room for 2 more.

Since turning 21 we've added wine to the mix (The Red Poppy lets you bring your own!)


Being the welcoming person that I believe myself to be, I invited them to join us.  We quickly learned that their names were Logan and Eve and had no idea what The Red Poppy was before they walked in, and also had no idea what hookah was.  We explained the logistics of how a hookah works, what hookah is, and then proceeded to try our best to blow smoke rings (disclaimer, I am incapable and did not try this time).  Logan and Eve are amazing people.  They were extremely nice and within about 2 minutes of having them at our table, we had found out 2 people that we knew in common and that we had gone to the same camp growing up.

Nights like this past Saturday make me really happy that I'm from Iowa.  There's a certain difference in the people here and the way that we treat each other.  It's beyond polite and more than southern charm.  There's nothing to call it but "Iowa Nice" and I'm proud to be from this place.  Thanks to Austin, Misha, Logan and Eve for reminding me of that!

Austin, Me, Misha, Logan, and Eve

XOXO
Kae

Austin's blog!

Saturday Sounds

Happy Saturday Joyflakes!

I'm happy to introduce you all to an internet trend that I am a HUGE fan of.  Saturday Sounds is a post that I will be writing every Saturday to showcase a new song or artist.  I have a strong connection to music and have always felt that the right song comes into your life just when you need it.  Music helps you smile and laugh and dance around in your underpants when you're feeling down or relaxes you when you're stressed out or helps mend a broken heart.

This week I'm showcasing an artist that I just found a few months ago.  I found Sam Tsui on YouTube and immediately followed his channel and bought his music on iTunes.  He is an amazing singer and his music is currently my favorite to belt in the shower and while I'm driving.

Enjoy y'all!



XOXO ~ Kae

Dream Big

Hello Joyflakes!

With all of the huge changes that have been happening in my family these last few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about hopes and dreams.  If you know me, you know that I often change my mind about about who I want to be and what I want to do so it shouldn't be surprising that my hopes and dreams change regularly.

When I was little I wanted to be a scientist.  I wanted to be a marine biologist to be exact, because I wanted to discover something new and completely untouched.  The ocean has zillions of places to discover and and it's vastness is as astounding as space yet it is to me, much more tangible.

Science is meant to be touched apparently

Seashore baby

When I was in junior high I wanted to be an artist.  I wanted to move to somewhere fabulous and do nothing but drink coffee or tea, paint and take pictures of my fantastic friends.

Making beautiful artwork

In high school, my loves of science and photography became a love of digital microscopy.  I wanted nothing more than to stare through the lens of a microscope at all of the things that are too tiny to be seen and photograph them in startling colors.  I wanted to show the beauty of a world that's around us all the time and is never seen.

Bubbles are amazing...

I also became very involved in music and dance.  I was convinced that if my life as a fabulous microorganism photographer didn't work, I would make it as a dancer or singer.

In college I wanted to be lots of things.  I wanted to be an artist until I had to deal with art professors (they're all psycho), a science teacher until I had to sit through bio lectures and pass chemistry, a writer, a singer, and a historian.

All of these things were fantastic options for careers and I got close to actually doing some of them.  But for some reason, I just couldn't find anything that I really loved enough to let go of everything else.  I think that's the thing about being a dreamer.  There's always something else on the horizon and it's hard to stop dreaming.

Now that I'm not is school anymore and working full time in a job that a actually love, I've caught myself wondering if my days as a bohemian dreamer are over.  I could easily see myself spending the next decades of my life doing just what I'm doing now.  I can see myself meeting someone and raising a family in the same amazing town that I grew up in.  That's something I have never thought I would say but as unexpected as it its, there's a great deal of comfort in it.  Enrolling my children in dance classes or watching them kick butt at sports in the same places I danced and watched my friends play sports has a charm to it that I never thought I would find.

Those thoughts are almost always immediately followed by sheer panic.  That life sounds wonderful and comfortable but what about all of the things I've wanted to do throughout my life?!  If I'm settled with kids, when will I have time to hike through the mountains of Scotland, ski in the Swiss Alps, drink wine in France, gaze at byzantine mosaics, eat pasta in Italy, drink a guinness in Ireland, go shopping in London or walk through the halls and gardens of an English castle?!

Shades on and obvi so ready for tea with the queen.

For the time being, I'm incredibly happy with my life and I'm sure that I will be for some time.  All that being said, my bucket list is long and always growing and that is never going to change so here is my hope for all of you.  I hope you dream big and NEVER get too comfortable.

XOXO
Kae

Settling In

Hello Joyflakes!

All of the changes that my family has been going through have finally happened!  I cannot believe that the time has come for us all to settle into our new lives; to be honest, I thought this day would never come.  My brother and his wife get back from their honeymoon either today or tomorrow, my sister lives in New York City and I am the once again, living on my own!  Since it's time to settle into my new life, I've been thinking a lot about how the next chapter of my life is going to pan out.  What I've come up with is a list of all of the things that I am truly blessed with.

1. FAMILY

I know that I talk about my family a lot but y'all have no idea how amazing they are.  They're supportive of (almost) all my crazy whiplash inducing life plans and goals and for that, I feel like the luckiest lady on the planet.

2. A B-E-A-UTIFUL condo to call my home

Moving into my sisters place started off a little rocky.  I was really scared that I wouldn't feel like I actually had a place to all my own and that I would feel more like a house sitter.  The thing that I didn't realize, is that my sister did an amazing job of picking a perfectly cozy condo that is far enough away from the people and places I grew up with that I don't feel stuck or trapped but also close enough that I can work at an amazing local business.

3. My Job

From what my friends and family and the world have told me, it is incredibly rare to find a job that you enjoy.  Having that at my age without a college degree makes me feel incredibly lucky.  I have bosses who not only push me to learn at an amazing rate, but make me feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn from my mistakes.  Feeling respected by your boss is something that I know doesn't come easy and it makes me want to work even harder to make sure that I never lose that respect.

4. My health

In July I got the worst news of my life.  My cousin, Kyle suffered a brain injury that has forever changed not only his life, but our whole families.  Kyle and I are about 5 years apart and although we didn't get to see each other very often, some of my best memories of going to our cabin include him.  He is an amazingly intelligent guy with the biggest heart in the world.  His injury means that I will probably never feel one of his famous bear hugs again and I can't help but think of how lucky I am to know someone like him in my lifetime.

6. My amazing friends

Living on your own can get lonely sometimes but every time I've started to feel bored and lonely lately one of my amazing friends has come to the rescue.   Although only 2 of them actually live in the same place as me, it doesn't seem to matter.  My friends are spread all over the country but we not a day goes by that I don't talk to most of them.  It is truly astounding to me that two of my best friends live well over 10 hours away from me and they manage to make me smile daily.  It's so easy to lose touch with people when everyone is moving on with their lives and I'm amazed every day by my friends commitment to each other to stay close no matter where we all live.

There are many many more blessings that I'll continue to count but since it's almost 3 am, I'm heading to bed.

Sleep tight y'all!

XOXO

Kae

P.S. I promise I'll post pictures from the most beautiful wedding ever but until then, check out the photographers blog!  KJ & Rob did an AMAZING job. 

That One Relationship

Good afternoon Joyflakes!

I have been putting off writing about this topic for quite some time but today I can't shake the thoughts off so I feel like that means it's time.

Everyone in my opinion has a person in their lives that they love with their whole heart.  It may be a friend, or old flame, but they are a person that no matter what, you would do absolutely anything for.  You would go anywhere for them, and never question them.  These people imprint themselves on your lives in a way unlike any other.  They show up in your dreams when you least expect them to and disappear when you feel like they should be right there by your side.

I firmly believe that these people are put in your life to help you grow and change but it is sometimes hard when while that change or growth is taking place.  They come to you, support you, make you feel like super woman, and then without notice, when the time comes, they disappear again.  It's that disappearing part that pulls at your thoughts more than anything.  Quite frankly, it hurts.  They are meant to be there forever but may not be the person you are meant to have with you all the time forever.

It's during that last part thought, the part that hurts and nags at your mind until you think you're going to go crazy, that you have to make a decision.  You can be angry, hurt, and defiant enough to give up on them, or you can thank them.  Let them know you're going to miss them and that they've changed you for the better, and send them on their way.  The second option is by far and away one of the hardest ways to deal with loss, but with this person, I promise you that it's easier.  It also makes it easier for them to come back to you when you're both ready.

So to my person…Thanks! I wouldn't be where I am right now without you.

Until next time,

XOXO ~ Kae

Wedding Day!

Oh my gosh Joyflakes, I cannot believe that today is actually here! We have been waiting forever for my older brother to marry Ali and I feel like I've been living in a dream world for the last week.

My brother Martin is 7 and half years older than me and I have always looked up to him more than anyone else in the world.  When we were growing up he was a father figure, always making sure that I was taken care of.  When he was in high school, he let me sit with him in the student section of basketball or football games even though I was just a little kid.  I have never laughed harder than with him and his friends (who he still lets me hang out with) and I have never felt safer than when he's there with me.  This past summer living in New York with he and Ali I got to get to know grown up karting and he is still one of the coolest people on he planet in my eyes.

Our trip in Vail has been so full of family and friends both new and old that I feel really blessed to be a part of all of it.  I'm about to head out for breakfast and getting ready with the bride and I already know that today is going to be so filled with laughs and happy tears.  I can't wait to celebrate my amazing brother and his beautiful future wife!

XOXO,
Kae

I Almost DIED

Hello from Vail, CO Joyflakes!


Slow going up in the snow and wind



I am unbelievably happy to be writing to you all today because there was a point Wednesday night that I wasn't sure I would make it.  For Ali's bachelorette trip instead of going out to the bars or to Vegas, we went on a hut trip.  If you've never been on one before, I hadn't until Wednesday, the basic idea is that you hike to a remote hut/cabin in the mountains of Colorado and drink for the night.  This idea sounded amazing to me and I was unbelievably excited to try something new.

Ali all ready to start up to to hut! (There's a mountain behind her but it cannot be seen through the snow)
Wednesday around 11 o'clock, we all gathered at Ali's parents house and loaded up the cars for our trip.  Michelanne, Ali's sister and MOH went up early with Brian* to get all of the food and sleeping bags and whatnot to our hut on the snowmobile so that we would have less to carry.  It was snowing and Vail pass was a traffic disaster so by 3:15 we were finally all on our way up the mountain on snowshoes.  If you've never snowshoed before I highly recommend it; it's an amazing workout and great way to stay active in the winter.  We were probably 100 ft from the trailhead when things started to get interesting.  The trail, which was marked by thin blue poles, hadn't been packed out so the we were not only gaining altitude, but blazing trail through 2ft of fresh powder.  Being from Iowa, New York, and Minnesota, this meant that we took a lot of breaks to catch our breath and rest and under normal circumstances, this would have been fine.  The problem was that going that slow meant that by the time the sun was setting, we were nowhere near the hut.  About half of the way up, Michelanne and Grace (who had literally come straight from the airport) caught up with us which is one thing that helped to save us.  Michelanne knew where she was going much better than the rest of us and took the lead.

Looking up the "path"

Monica at the trailhead 
Around 3/4 of the way there, we couldn't see where the next blue pole was and only had one head lamp so the going got even slower and our beautiful snowy overcast night just kept getting darker. In the middle of the dark, on a freezing cold mountain, with only one lamp, we were exhausted and falling into hole after hole after hole.  This was the point in time when I literally thought "If I fall one more time, I'm just going to curl up and freeze to death I seriously don't think I'm gong to make it.  Thankfully, Michelanne called her friend Suzanne, who had been waiting for us at the hut to hike down to us so that the trail would be easier to follow.  When we finally saw the light from Suzanne's flashlight, I was both extremely excited and terrified.  She looked so far away!!
Michelanne in waist deep powder

My ski pole stuck in the snow just off of our path

Finally having a destination in view, we trudged along all trying our best to stay outwardly positive while our internal monologues were filled with very strong language.  The next giant issue came when suzanne's light suddenly disappeared.  Not knowing where the trail was, Suzanne had just walked down the mountain in the direction she thought was closest to the trail and fallen into a sink hole.  Yup, a real live sink hole. Buried to her mouth, she had nothing to do but stand there, holding up her flashlight and waiting for us to come and dig her out.

Three hours and fifteen minutes after we had started up the mountain, we finally made it our hut.  I have never been so happy to see a wood stove with a pot of boiling snow on it in my life.

shrine inn


Looking from the real trail to the trail we packed/the sink holes
mountain
A beautiful morning!
rocky mountain
Panoramic view form the porch of Jay's cabin
All 10 survivors Thursday morning!


The next day dawned bright an clear and after breakfast quesadilla's, the hike down took about half the time it had taken us to make it up, and was twice as fun.

Monica, Grace and I on the way down




Needless to say, I won't be doing another hut trip for quite some time but I am considering one this summer!  Tonight is the rehearsal dinner and then the wedding tomorrow.  This week has flown by and it has been an amazingly incredible trip and I can't wait to share more with you soon!

XOXO,
Kae

*Brian is literally a super hero.  We never would have made it without him!